Sunday, March 12, 2006

Nerd Versus Geek

What's the difference between a nerd and a geek? My e-mail buddy Bob from Virginia says that a nerd is a geek wannabe. A geek usually is something of a gadget freak or has another type of techie skill, he explained. Something that nerds envy.

When I lamented to Bob that my son's girlfriend called me a nerd because I had my own blog, Bob teased, "Embrace your nerdness, big fella. It's time at 50-something we get in touch with our inner selves. You were a nerd in 1970, did you think you had outgrown it?"

Well, yeah, I guess I did.

Bob proclaimed himself a geek, probably even more so now than in his youth. Later in the week, in an e-mail of his own, my father asked if he were a nerd because he reads books. Taking my cue from Bob, I replied it was more likely he had geek tendencies, because my father can take apart and put back together many types of gadgets.

So dad looked up "geek" in his dictionary and reported his findings. "Geek: a carnival performer who performs sensational, morbid or disgusting acts like biting a chicken's head off."

Of course, I had to pass this along to Bob whose retort was that dad needed a newer, better dictionary. My father replied (through me) that his dictionary is not that old and is four inches thick. At this point, I tried to beg off, thinking myself just an innocent bystander. To which Bob responded, "Innocent? You called your old man a geek and somehow you're blaming it on me??"

Meanwhile, I'd described my dad as a lurker in "On Comments", a blog a written a week or so ago. That description didn't set well either. "I never really thought of myself as a lurker. I picture a lurker being like Dracula with a cape over his face with just the eyeballs sticking out,." he wrote.

Man, do I need to be careful what I say.


Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

With critics like that, I recommend you start writing about grass (, wait...)....

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Good grief, I don't want to be a geek... first thing I thought of was a circus side-show performer just like your Dad's definition. And a geek is not the same as a gadget freak. I am certainly a gadget freak but I am *also* a nerd, the two aren't exclusive in my mind.

12:47 PM  
Blogger WordWhiz said...

Dave: I think you need to just get jiggy with a phat new dictionary that is down with the definitions of the time, dude.

Okay, this would be more humorous if I could really do modern-speak, but I'm too OLD!!!!

I agree with your Dad on the lurker thing!! My mental image exactly!

6:43 PM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

Bela Lugosi! Your dad is a hilarious guy, too, Dave!

Delurking to send my condolences regarding the Wolverines being out of the basketball dance. GO SPARTANS!!

6:49 PM  
Anonymous kristy said...

His dictionary is four inches thick? When men start comparing worth in inches, it's generally time to close down the discussion. That's what I always say anyway!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Dave, I have so much trouble with Techno things that I don't qualify as a nerd or a geek.

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

I'm smiling. Yeah, Dave, sometimes silence is indeed golden. I'm also technically guess I don't fit in either category either.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

Geek - Nerd? Yes you need to learn when silence becomes golden. Although this is all too funny. It sounds like you have three generations of wonderful senses of humor. Enjoy!

4:27 PM  
Anonymous vicki said...

It's time to read "Geek Love" by Katherine Barnes. An amazing and delightful read that will leave you happy being a nerd.

Dave- thank you for all of your kindness and care these past days. In my book, you're a wonderfully compassionate nerd of the best sort.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where does a DORK fit in?

6:13 AM  
Blogger bornfool said...

I just watched an 'Everybody Loves Raymond' where he goes to his 20 year reunion. All his friends are nerds, but his wife fits in with the cool kids.
My wife kept eyeing me during the whole program. I guess I'm a nerd and I wasn't even aware.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Oh please, you're not a nerd. :)

8:20 AM  
Blogger answer-man said...

ps I'm having a little trouble sending comments so if I do it twice please excuse me and I apologize.

9:10 AM  
Blogger poopie said...

Just exactly how does blogging make one a nerd? Humph. And there I thought we were all cool and stuff.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I rather like a geek and a nerd, so there.

Alright "Dad" oh excuse me Anonymous, PLEASE don't tell me you are a dork!

9:18 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

I'm not anonymous, but I was a grade "A", number "1" dork all through school.

1:43 PM  
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